Is there room for carers in David Cameron’s “big society”?


We cannot afford to ignore carers

Managed to catch the opening of David Cameron’s speech at Guardian HQ last night – his biggest speech since the party conference address in Manchester.

The Hugo Young Lecture is not Cameron’s natural territory by any means – and he joked it was probably a good thing he is too young to be included in Young’s acerbic journals.

But Dave had done his homework and it seems like he judged his audience pretty well.

Here’s The Trust’s official comment from our Director of Policy and Communications, Alex Fox:

“Big society” is a clever left-friendly spin on “small government”. The Conservatives’ aim to build “civil society” chimes with the current government’s agenda for building “community capacity”.

But even in the most optimistic assessments of how society and communities can be strengthened, the biggest single contribution made to this country’s infrastructure will continue to be the millions of hours of unpaid care and support provided to older and disabled people by their families and friends.

Perhaps we need a “big families” agenda that ensures that the state supports, rather than distorts, family relationships. We certainly cannot afford to keep ignoring ordinary people whose caring roles too often collapse due to poverty, isolation and stress.

Back on Cameron’s home turf they had their own view of how the speech went.

Take care,



November 11, 2009 - Posted by | David Cameron, Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. “civil society” chimes with the current government’s agenda for building “community capacity”.

    What carers need is to be listened to and helped not this ding dong bell rubbish.
    Will any political party listen?
    Will they ever try spending a day with a 24hour unpaid carer who cares for a loved one?
    Do they know about the isolation and fear that carers face most days.
    I doubt it.

    Comment by Wendy Chill4us | November 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. Am not sure why but a quote from my GCE macbeth studies comes to mind:
    “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

    Comment by Karen | November 19, 2009 | Reply

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